Testbiotech, supported by Corporate Observatory Europe (CEO), is today filing a new complaint with the EU Ombudsman questioning the independence of the chair of the panel of experts tasked with assessing the risk of new genetically engineered plants entering the European Union. Harry Kuiper has chaired the GMO Panel at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) since 2003 but has also maintained strong ties with International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) including taking part in a task force led by a Monsanto employee.
5.3. 2012 The European Commission is planning to adopt new regulation on the risk assessment of genetically engineered plants used in food and feed. However, the standards are not sufficiently rigorous to exclude risks to human health and the environment. Testbiotech published a tabled overview on some deficiencies on 25 of January 2012 (http://www.testbiotech.org/en/node/613). After a meeting with the Commission on 14 of February, Testbiotech continues to maintain the concerns.
The NGOs Testbiotech and Gen-ethische Netzwerk (GeN) have today published an open letter addressed to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, calling on her to stop the creation of new variations of the bird flu virus and back limited access to genetic data. Scientists have been able to manufacture an H5N1 type virus in the laboratory, which is extremely dangerous for mammals. The researchers agreed on 20 January 2012 to a moratorium in order to give the public an opportunity to take up a position on this issue.